Friday, August 5, 2011

Why I don't shave my legs

I'd like to speak to those who wonder why I don't shave my legs and how I have a beard.  I'd like to say, for three reasons:   

First, I chose to stop shaving my legs when I awakened to how much pain, anxiety, time and effort I spent on keeping them hairless.  In my first Women's Studies course, we were given an assignment to take note of what products we use to beautify ourselves for the day.  I suddenly had my attention on what I was doing for the last 10 years subconsciously and realized what pain it brought me, no matter what type of hair removal I tried.  I realized the absurdity of the obsession that I had with such a miniscuel aspect of my existence, and realized that it was something seriously obstructing my potential to impact the planet.  I found that my half hour a day shaving my legs (which is necessary to maintain against the strong, fast-growing fur that my body produces) added to almost 4 hours a week that I could instead be writing with, attending rallies with, being in service with.  This is what first had me stop shaving my legs, which ended up becoming a powerful realization that I was trapped by my obsession with trying to look normal.  All in all, I don't shave my legs because I realized that I was trapped by doing it in the first place.  I'm limited when I try to be like others, and I was consumed by ensuring that no one found out my natural state.  What I like to ask instead (which is not a simple question):  Why DO women shave their legs?  If you identify as being feminine- why do YOU shave YOUR legs?  The question of why I don't do something is confusing when the rest of the world IS doing something.  Typically we ask why the chicken crossed the road, not about the one who stayed behind.  Get my drift?  I'll address this more later when I talk about facial hair.

Second, I want diversity/difference between people to be truly recognized as and expressed as being beautiful and necessary. Only if I stand up for my own diverse qualities can I further us all recognizing difference as something to be celebrated.  My hiding of my unique traits or my aim to blend in confirms the socially created perspective that it needs to be hidden, that it is wrong and that that "normalcy" I aim to be like IS natural and right.
I grew up learning that I needed to strike a special kind of balance of being unique and fitting in to be loved by others.  While being taught that diversity is beautiful, I saw nothing but one body type and beauty norm named as truly beautiful.  Those whom I identified with most were tossed aside, ridiculed, or assured that there must be something else that they are good at (examples:  "well, at least you are funny" or "it's what's inside that counts").  Having body hair was and is considered to be freakish, or manish, with an association of perversity, of grossness, or that there's something fundamentally wrong.  No child should feel like they are fundamentally wrong.  No child should grow up trying to hide themselves.  I am most proud of my decision and what I look like when I am in the presence of children.  Every child or young adult who sees me and notices my body hair has evidence in their lives that women are not all hairless (which I believed when I was little and had me feel alone). The more I love my body as it is, the more I can hope to rupture the assumed agreed upon limits of beauty.

Third, I want people to recognize that gender is an illusion (specifically) and that we are often making expectations of others based on our standards for a socially constructed and unavailable "normalcy" (in general).  To break that down:  we're all making it up.  Not only are we all making it (reality) up (as we only experience life through a limited scope, view and language), but we are making ourselves and others right or wrong on how we fit this view of reality.  So here I am, a hairy child, believing that I am gross, wrong, alone... using all of my energy to cover up my natural self, frantically trying to shave fast enough so that no one knows that I grow hair, that no one knows that my body hair is so thick.  I would spend over an hour before a date, trying to reach every last inch on my body with my razor only to feel utter shame when my boyfriend at the time pointed out a missed spot and grimaced.  Perfected femininity was always beyond my reach, no matter the layers of make-up I wore, the hours I spent plucking and shaving my body and no matter the pounds of body-weight I lost through Jenny-Craig in high school or the specialty bras I wore to make my body shape just right as I lost body weight through that program.  Perfected femininity is actually beyond all of our reaches, it's what keeps women forever running and forever hiding behind a mist of products.  I was (and I see so many other women currently are) obsessed with the need to stay feminine and look female, which is defined by it's separateness from masculinity and maleness.  As I've studied gender, sexuality and identity performance over the past 9 years, I've recognized what power these ghostly standards of the never truly defined "gender" have over all of us.  I am frustrated with the hold that gender has in all of our lives, where it's continued perfected performance and our social agreements on it, has created the assumption of what is natural and unnatural, normal or an abomination, and right or wrong.  To be honest, when I was growing up, I truly felt like there was something wrong with me... and I learned quickly that others felt the same way about themselves.  Why are we all partaking in this system that doesn't serve us?  Why are we fertilizing the soil of this invasive poisonous tree?

So to go back to my previous question:  Why DO feminine people shave their legs?  I'd love to know.  I know that my excuse used to be "I think it looks better"... but then I recognized the socially created and agreed upon standards of beauty that held that thought together.  Do I truly find it more beautiful, or did I grow up completely emerced in that it is beautiful?  This is something that I am caught in every day, and it's the reason why I continued to (after 8 years of not removing body hair) pluck my chin of facial hair.  I didn't realize how asleep I was to the connection between it all. 
Then I met Amelia.  I first saw Amelia in a performance by her burlesque troop.  Amelia is of course, unforgettable.  She is one of the most intelligent people I know, one of the most thoughtful and generous sweethearts in my community, and one of the most fierce and direct no-nonsense women I know.  She is courageous and kind, daring and transparent.  I adore her, and I learn from her.  Amelia is a sparkle queen. Amelia plays a femme gender role while having a pronounced beard.  In her strip shows, Amelia wears pure sparkle red lipstick and fills her hair with flowers.  Her beard glows red in the stage spotlight.
One day Amelia asked me the question that I asked you above:  Why DO you pluck your beard?  I was stumped.  I so subconsciously removed the hairs from my chin, that I didn't realize that it was something to not do.  Meeting Amelia for the first time had me realize my inconsistency, but I felt justified in my somehow continued belief that I just don't find it beautiful.
When I heard myself say that, I realized that I was playing into the same game that kept me trapped in shaving my legs.  I realized that I plucked every day, as a means to keep others from knowing that I even naturally grew hair there.  I realized that it had become a trap, where I was unable to go without plucking in fear.  I was scared of being rejected by others, scared of not being loved.  I realized that I plucked out of fear, and that I was perpetuating future fear by maintaining the illusion of normalcy.

I stopped plucking the hairs from my chin three months ago, and I've developed a family of long brown hairs in a goatee like fashion.  I'm seeing what it's like, sort of like a new hairstyle on my head.  If I can truly step out of being afraid of it, then I am truly free.  I feel that if I have the ability to walk both lines (hairy chin or not) without fear of judgement or wanting to look normal to some other degree... then I have the real freedom of choice in how my body looks, and if I like the beauty of this look or that look.

I am committed to getting us all to recognize the power that we have in our lives, and the impact of our continued choosing to go with the current flow.  I am committed to us recognizing that WE'VE built these walls of separation and that we are calling the shots on what is right or wrong.  My life is for being the change I wish to see in the world, and I know that change is often hard to be with.  I invite you to look into what you've been perpetuating, what is hindering your fullest potential, what fear keeps you from exploring.


I have moved my blog over to www.DeconstructionCrafts.com.  Join me here for current updates and more thoughts on beauty, gender, subversion, normalcy and more!

76 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. There is such a thing as laser.
    If I were you I wouldn't continue down this self destructive path. How could you think this looks attractive and why wouldn't you want to make the best of yourself? You might be challenging why everyone shaves, but it's simple: its cleaner, feels better, looks better and is cooler (temperature wise). People generally aren't attracted to hairy women. Never mind how attractive you are to others - go do it for your own pleasure.

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    1. Those reasons for shaving you listed are all opinions except, perhaps, the keeping cooler. Which is still a trifling reason to try pushing shaving on to her. It's cleaner? Well then why don't you shave your head and arms if you think something naturally produced to protect us is so dirty. Feels better? Maybe for the first hour but can you honestly say you love the feel of prickly legs? Looks better? Pure opinion and you're just being closed minded to the different appearance of hairy legs.

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    2. One year later to your comment, have no idea if you will respond.....being hairy is warmer in my opinion. don't really have an unhairy experience opinion. I did cut my hair down to practically well a nub because I am WARM thinking cutting my hair would make a difference. I am now letting my hair grow out so I can put it once again into a pony tail and fan my neck. I am a hairy girl. Born and proud of it.

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  5. chy, you are beautiful! and brave! i feel protective of you and sad about the above comments, but i admire that you are willing to share and be honest and be true to yourself, and can hear that without having to take it on. and to the above authors, mind your manners.

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  6. I will not tolerate hate speech on my blog. I am open to disagreements, but not outright violence, threats, and hatred.
    What I know, is that what I am doing is incredibly confronting to others and thus such a forum topic is created (WARNING: violence, misogyny and hate speech prevalent in this link: http://manlyexcellence.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=18576)
    Seeing these individuals degrade, threaten and objectify me and my blog post has me see the very reason to continue this work. I see that such a strong reaction shows me how embedded these beliefs are, and how scared people are of change.
    I am saddened in seeing the reaction of fear and hatred running the show for these individuals as fear and hatred multiplies through reactions and reactions to reactions. I choose to (instead of defending or lashing back out at these individuals) simply write this to acknowledge their presence and let them know why I censored their comments and create a linkage to people who ARE up for reading through their reactions.

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    1. You are right! We can notice how the world is falling down, and like you, I hate to shave my legs and my armpits. Don't be worried about rude comments!

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  7. Thank you for providing an example of a woman in CHOICE. When did we as a culture decide that women should remove their hair while in men it is considered a sign of virility ?? As to the thought on attraction.... it is subjective.
    You are hot Chy !!!

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    1. It was part of an advertising campaign in the 1920's when razors were looking for new marketing. Why not make hairy legs and armits attractive to the other half of the population in America? Pretty sad actually.

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  8. Cheyenne you are amazing and beautiful and a leader and incredibly brilliant. It saddens me to read the comments written by ignorant, scared little men on their misogynist site, but you are a bright shining light and they are just little boys lashing out in fear. Thank you for doing your work in the world...you are giving women and men and many in between more and more ground from which to rise themselves and others.

    Love,
    Amanda

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  9. I grew all my hair out before and stopped brushing the hair on my head. I enjoyed it. It is my choice. It is your choice. That's the best part. You can do whatever you want if you are brave enough. Respect and Support from me.

    Wendy

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  10. "this, above all, to thine own self be true"

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  11. Don't see why my comment got erased. I don't wish you any ill will at all, do what you want, it's your right. But, I will reiterate that many people will see you as a walking radical feminist stereotype.

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    1. I would love to be seen as a radical feminist. We need more of them in my opinion.

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  12. You are a truly awesome woman, and I am inspired by your courage, your raw energy, and your conviction. I wholeheartedly agree that we walk blindly into beauty standards (e.g. shaving) without questioning where they came from and why they still exist. Your post truly moved be.

    I was also shocked by some of the comments on your post. "Do it for your own pleasure"...what a joke! It takes a truly powerful person to question such a huge boundary, toe the line, and then jump over to say "HAH" at the other side. For others to glance past this huge undertaking, to note the effectiveness of laser hair removable, is beside the point and it's counterproductive. It just goes to show that in this modern world, reading comprehension skills are hardly improving.

    I want to congratulate you, though you hardly need it, on making such a profound, moving statement. It urges women like me to stop and take pause and really consider the razor (and it's costs in time and money). Not only that, you are absolutely beautiful. Your legs are beautiful. Your face is beautiful. No one has a right to tell you different, and it makes me proud to be a woman to know that there are others like you embracing their whole, true selves and not letting others stop them.

    hairofthehare.wordpress.com

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  13. ill pay for your laser hair removal treatment.. but please!!! do something about your hair! :s

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  14. You know, you inspired me so much that I did a post about you and your blog. Basically, I talk about how you're a better role model than celebs like Gaga, who claim they are dismantling the beauty standards in this country. You're the true heroine in this story though, and I wanted to give you a heaping of acknowledgement for being so strong and standing up for your beliefs. You can read it here: http://hairofthehare.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/not-so-gaga/

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    1. Thank you so so SO much for this! I didn't realize what a heap of reaction I would get from writing this, and it's wonderful to see! My experiment with allowing myself to get comfortable with my chin hairs has been quite a challenge. I've come to learn so much about my own need to fit in. I think that we all do this, and especially women who are taught early that to be loved, we must belong.
      Thank you for championing the right to redefine beauty, and advocating and building community through others. I appreciate your acknowledgment and I so soak it in!
      I've since moved my blog over to www.deconstructioncrafts.com and I'm picking up speed after moving to wordpress and away from this blogger platform.

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  15. Seriously: Good for you! As another woman who doesn't participate in "performing femininity" I salute you.

    I don't see why other people feel the need to tell you what to do with YOUR own body (your hair grows on your body and is thus part of your body). Frankly it's nobody's business but yours.

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  16. WOW HairoftheHare THANK YOU! I am so honored and touched. I feel so seen, so recognized... and this helps me to see that my message DOES have an impact, and that I AM sharing something worth soul-searching over. I am so completely honored. Thank you thank you.

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  17. No matter how much people defend it, we shave and put ourselves through the torture in order to please others. Why do we feel better and 'cleaner' when we do it? Because we know that's how the media has portrayed it.
    it's kindof nice to see someone not bothering with other people's perceptions and approval. All of this hate and arguments about how you're not attractive is baffling to me. Attractive based on what? A 10 year old? I personally don't think that they're very sexually attractive...
    Besides. Men have been sleeping with women long before hair removal and beauty products came to be. They'll do it again when they realize that this 'power' they have over women, where they can influence almost every thing they do to their bodies, is eliminated, and women take back their bodies.

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  18. you look beautiful! I don't shave anything either, even when other people make comments about the "cleanliness" of unshaven hair. Yeah, my sweaty armpit is unpleasant, because of the sweat, not because of the hair. That is what showers are for. And my husband doesn't think it is at all unnatural. After all, he is a human being and he has hairy legs, well I am human and I also have hairy legs.

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  19. You are beautiful in both mind and body. Thank you for sharing some of it with us in this post.

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  20. I applaud your willingness and bravery to not conform. I don't shave with any sort of regularity, but I never let my hair get more than a month of growth, but I tell myself that it has more to do with physical comfort and honestly loving the feel of my smooth legs after I haven't shaved in awhile. Probably I'm lying to myself a little bit, because I will shave my lower legs are especially hairy and I want to wear a short dress.

    Good for you for sticking up for your own body and all that naturally grows in it!

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  21. Have just stumbled across your account of accepting your natural hairiness. It's so sad that perfectly normal + natural body hair is so ostracised in our increasingly homogenous society. How can it be unfeminine when all women naturally have it to a lesser or greater degree.

    I admire your strength in being true to yourself + I also think you look beautiful + feminine with your hairy legs.

    Wish there were more women who had your strength + vision to question female depilation. I've no problem with somebody shaving, but being hairy should be just as acceptable + seen as part of the diversity of human beauty. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  22. Congratulations and bravo on making such a brave choice. Enjoy your new freedom.

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  23. As a former competitive swimmer, our team would go for up to 3-4 months without shaving before a big meet. We swam with long leg hair to create more drag, so that when we did shave it for the race we would feel faster, at the very least psychologically. I did tend to wear pants with long leg hair, but it was also in the winter. I usually didn't feel self-concious about it, but then again I had a group of friends who were doing the same thing. It was very convenient and I saved a lot of time, but I can honestly say I really prefer the feel of shaved legs. After feeling hair for months it was wonderful to feel smooth skin again- and I know this was only for myself. It wasn't so much about look, society, etc. I have never liked leg hair- when I hit puberty it was one of my least favorite "new body discoveries".

    It has been a few years since I have stopped swimming competitively, and I do shave on a fairly regular basis. If it gets a little stubbly, eh, I get to it when I can. It isn't this horribly mandated ritual for me. I actually bought an epilator recently, and I only have to mess with hair about once a month. It hurt terribly the first time, but now it really doesn't feel like much at all if I take ibuprofen beforehand. I can appreciate what you are doing, and I commend you for it, but I gotta say the leg hair I had started to really bug me after awhile.

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  24. Dear Chy,

    in my opinion shaving really has nothing to do with being feminine, being pretty or being tidy.

    Its only a world wide installed spell to make the people buy razors and blades.

    Now - 80% of women do that nasty shaving - the men are in the focus of industry. In forums you can see the themes: Should men shave legs too?.

    Wow, if this second spell works too, the profit is 200%.
    Poor world and well done Chy.

    Greets from Germany, Lars

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  25. Truly inspiring.
    I try to build up the nerve you have to remain natural in such an unnatural society but manage to cave as soon as the threat of bearing skin appears.
    This piece has really got me thinking and challenging common ideals. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, you are an inspiration.

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  26. You are beautiful! I stopped shaving months ago but can't stop plucking my chin or get up the nerve to go out without pants covering my legs. I wish I could accept myself like you do. I have never habitually worn make-up and I don't really pluck my eyebrows and am fine with it, but showing my legs or letting chin hairs grow is too much. I don't know why. My husband loves me no matter what..... I wish I could see myself like he sees me.

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    1. I hear you on this for sure! What stops you from seeing yourself as beautiful? There was a long time when I only wore pants (probably 2 years I would say) when I first stopped shaving. Over time I realized that it was me who was deciding that I was not beautiful and that my perspective (not others) was what actually disabled me. I can see it in your writing when you say that your husband loves you as you are. What incredible power you have internally in yourself to be able to decide if you are attractive or not, no matter what he thinks! The good news is that the key lies in yourself then. You get to decide who you are, what you think, and what you believe. I believe that to change your belief, that one must just start thinking, doing, saying, and attituding what it is that one is committed to. That will (over time) instill that belief. One of my favorite mantras is: Change how you see, not how you look.

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  27. You are true to yourself and a light of self love. It is there that real beauty arises. It is there that real freedom can exist. By acting like yourself you only confront others with their fears, lack of believe and love for themselves. You plant the seeds of true change. You dismantle the fake charade and mentality that made a lot of human beings leave the road of real life... Thank you <3

    Erika

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  28. One of the best lines I ever read... Congrats for being true female, who dares to be herself totally. I admire you!

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  29. Never stop doing what your doing Chy. I have just started quitting shaving for about 4 weeks and there have been MANY times where i have been tempted to give in. I want to give in because i am afraid. But that is all the more reason why should'nt and CANT give in. I AM A NATURAL WOMAN AND THERE IS NOTHING UGLY ABOUT BEING SUCH. We are the dreamers. We are the ones who will challenge others to TRULY see how pure there ideas of beauty are. Peace and Love to all.

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    1. You're fantastic! You do what you want to do, as it is YOUR body! There's beauty to be had in the natural form of a woman, but products and mutilations only cover. This doesn't mean that I think that we should all stop using any products, and go into the woods (unless that's what you want to do!), it means that I think that us experimenting with various forms of ourselves gives us more freedom in knowing what we truly want for ourselves, and what we've been TOLD to do.
      <3

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  30. I came across an article about why shaving started:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/14646142/Hair-or-Bare-The-History-of-American-Women-and-Hair-Removal-19141934-Kirsten-Hansen-Thesis
    It explains the reasons about why women started shaving and why it was considered beautiful.
    I thought it was a very interesting article!

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  31. Brilliant! Very inspiring :) I have just stopped shaving (3 week's ago) and what's funny is that I don't have any problem wearing shorts or skirts in front of strangers (or my husband) but get anxious about what my close friends and family will think.I imagine them being embarrassed to be seen with me if my legs are on show. Did you lose any friends due to your decision?

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    1. I definitely didn't lose any friends, but grew new relationships where people were at first scared and curious about me, then got to know me, and then became inspired to re-look at their own decisions.
      I stopped shaving for over a year before I felt comfortable showing anyone, and when I did I noticed that people were polar in their reactions. I met more people I didn't know existed, who suddenly felt more comfortable and safe with me... and others who drifted away but I never missed. People know truly know me and are inspired by my decisions are the people that I want to be around.

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  32. You look great. My wife hasn't shaved since she was 18. She had gone without shaving for three weeks and was rather embarrassed about it. I told her I thought she looked better that way, and she did. What's the fuss?

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  33. Awesome stuff. Read all that garbage in the form on hall of manly excellence though. Their attitudes are not progressive - Tired of being angry, now I'm just plain disappointed.

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    1. same reaction here - I was thrilled to read this blog, but after reading those hateful comments I felt the world isn't ready...

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  34. THANK YOU for sharing your story. It is extremely reassuring to know that I am not alone in this fight. We are human beings, not objects. We should not be shamed into adhering to ridiculous beauty standards. You are beautiful! We are all beautiful!!!

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  35. Thank you for your open statement. I myself havent't shaves for about 5 years, but I don't dare to be open about it, because I feel I am too sensitive to face the reactions. Up to now I thought I was probably the only person on this planet who made this decision. Maybe over the years I will become more steadfast and start to show my "wuschelbeine" (natural legs). I definitely think that this won't ever be acceptable in a work environment.

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  36. Thanks for all that!! I'm not shaving my legs for health reasons -- a severe back injury makes it too painful to hunch over and shave/slather depilatory cream -- and I appreciate someone standing up saying IT IS JUST FINE TO NOT SHAVE! I do find it hurtful when people stare or when the nail tech makes a joke about it to me though.

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  37. Also, forgot to say that my fiance could care LESS about how fuzzy my legs are. I constantly ask him if he's sure, and his reply is that he cares more about my comfort than my fur. AWESOMESAUCE. In addition, I'd just like to say that I'm not doing this as a stance for Feminism or to be a Hippie. I'm a girly girly high maintenance chick. I just can't shave my legs. And if my back ever heals I'm STILL not going to shave. Like you pointed out, there is SO MUCH TIME wasted on something so trivial and it really doesn't matter that much to me. If it matters to others, then they can come slather that Nair on for me. In fact, my friend did just that, but she wasn't offended by the hair, she just wanted to do something nice for me.

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  38. I also posted this on your deconstruction crafts blog site.

    Wow! I love your hairy legs! I think I am in love with you. (Just kidding! I realize that loving a person is about much more than being attracted to a physical feature.)

    I am a heterosexual male who has had an attraction to body hair on women since being an adolescent (I am now in my early 60′s). Hairy legs have been my favorite; I guess you could say I am a “leg” man. Your legs are really hairy; it looks like including your thighs. Your legs are what have always fantasized about. Your legs look like they are quite a bit hairier than mine, and I love it!

    I have always thought it to be a crime that really hairy legs are the exclusive prerogative of men, and are verboten on women. I have always felt a sense of deprivation in not being able to enjoy, love, marvel at, and be in awe of really hairy legs like yours, or other body hair on women. It was one of my disappointments that in the 1970′s hairy legs and other body hair on women were not going to become common and widespread like long (head) hair on men. I saw a few women with hairy legs at my college campus (San Diego State University) and elsewhere in the early 1970′s; I did not realize at the time that they were as common then as they would ever get. I was very shy at the time and very afraid to approach women to whom I had a strong physical attraction.

    I would love it if women in greater numbers would let their body hair grow out, and women with body hair were part of the general conversation like gay and lesbian attraction have become. I live in San Diego, CA, and yes, I was very upset and angry about Proposition 8, and the religious bigots who, in the name of their narrow religion, feel it is their damn business to impose their rules on the rest of society. And the same with the bigots on the so-called "manly excellence" site who feel it is their damn business to say what women ought to do with their bodies, and who feel that it is an exclusive male privilege to have hairy legs or other body hair (and who feel threatened by women who dare to usurp that privilege).

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  39. You're truly beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for tolerating bigoted opinions and being your amazing self. I myself do shave not because I see femininity as being as shiny and polished as possible, but because I just like the way it makes you feel. And that's okay! The whole deal of being under social pressure is that we shouldn't be! I can't think of a more successful way of making people feel miserable than by imposing on them severe and nearly impossible to achieve standards. Not just about body hair, but everything which makes us different. I for example would love going outside topless in the summer or kising my girlfriend in public and not being catcalled, pointed or yelled at. Yes, we live in a close-minded society but with more people like you change is going to come. I love you and admire you deeply.

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  40. Your natural beauty is refreshing ! Thank you for being you.

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  41. I'm so happy for you that you're so comfortable in your own body!! Your beautiful because you are yourself!! And I shave my legs because I just love the feel of my legs being smooth lo, I will actually just sit and run my hands up and down my legs if I've bothered to shave. I don't care what anyone else says about my body hair, neither you or I wake up every day to please anyone but ourselves! Continue being you, you're awesome!

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  42. Well, shaving wouldn’t define you as a person. But I am not against it. For some, shaving simply means an act of cleaning and nothing more. In the end, I believe that as long as you are happy with your body, then that is good enough.

    Justine Cricks

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  43. Hi, I have not been shaving for nearly 6 months and have gone through many thought processes, as you have. I loved this article, kind of brought some of my thoughts together. I still see myself in a trial period, I am hoping my vanity/ego or pressure from others will not win over. The best bit has been the thought process, thinking is a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it becomes. I know that the non-thinking comments will not bother you. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts xx

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  44. I think it's great that you're embracing your body, but I am curious if you've ever had your hormone levels tested.

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  45. This is great! You're an inspiration. Don't stop what you're doing, I think you are very brave.

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  46. Congratulations for your decisions and for be a honest and beautiful woman! Keep true!

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  47. I am a PhD holding feminine feminist, and I have somewhat conflicted views on answering your question as to why I shave my legs. First of all, I am married and my partner thinks it's ridiculous when I shave my legs and armpits. In the winter I don't bother, he still finds me incredibly attractive and there's no issue. However, in the summer I shave both my legs and armpits. So, why?

    I am familiar with the kind of constructivist view of gender you hold and while I agree that yes, to a large degree our concept of gender is a mere convention (albeit a convention with an extremely long and deep-rooted history), but I cannot deny the pleasure I get out of the existence of the gender construct. I love feeling desired by my husband for the ways in which my body differs from his, and I love desiring him for the same reason. Moreover, I am a feminist who enjoys what some might call "deviant" sex--I like being hit, strangled, scratched, etc., and part of the pleasure I receive from this COMES from indulging in the fantasy that I am the passive recipient of my lover's desire and his ability to take what he desires. So while gender itself IS a fantasy in many ways, it's one that I receive great pleasure and enjoyment from. I also enjoy being the highest paid, highest educated and least emotionally expressive of the two of us BECAUSE it is contrary to expectations. For me, it's not about what I should or should not do as a feminist (or as a potentially gender-free individual), but about doing what brings me joy, pleasure and satisfaction WITH the awareness of what I'm doing and why.

    My question for you is: what exactly is wrong with "fitting in" in, at least some respects? Are you suggesting that if gender was eliminated there would be nothing else constraining and limiting us, demanding our time and taking our attention away from all of the amazing things we COULD be doing? Because I'm fairly certain that shared knowledges, meanings, norms and practices are the foundation of our lives as social beings in the first place. The logical extreme of your argument is untenable unless we conceive of individuals as capable of pure autonomy--a case I just cannot buy.

    So, while there are of course standards and norms of gender that are harmful, violent even, it is not reasonable to suggest that everyone become androgynous (moreover, there are multiple other versions of feminism that would argue this is impossible). Gender is both profoundly limiting and profoundly pleasurable. I do not appreciate being made to feel like a mindless conformer because I shave my legs. With the full realization of the unnatural reasons why I do it, I enjoy the social benefits I receive from it. Are you suggesting that all women SHOULD stop shaving? Because that would of course be antithetical to the point you seem to be making. Instead, I think that the (partially) constructed nature of gender is rife with options for playing with, contesting, reaffirming, and reproducing it. Just like with everything else in our lives, there are tradeoffs for the wonders of being a social actor.


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    1. You are playing on gender roles, which is different, letting their rules limit yourself is different and pernicious.
      And when you said you enjoy the social benefits of shaving your legs, think about it, obviously conforming is done because of social benefits, more work. but also less edge against the current ruling of things.

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    2. Why should shaving legs have any sort of social benefit to it though?

      If you like shaving your legs, than good keep doing it, I don't think the author is trying to keep everyone from shaving their legs.
      I think the problem is when women don't shave their legs, society tries to make it out like women who don't shave are more 'unsightly' to look at.

      Why is hair so much more necessary on our scalp, where the longer the more 'feminine'/attractive you are to the majority of the public?

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  48. I shaved my legs for the first time when I was 12 or 13 - obviously not well. I went swimming and was happily surrounded by boys of my own age. The minute the cold salt water hit my legs I broke out in a horrendous rash. Need I say more?.....Okay I got over it but damn.... I decided not to ever shave again But I did up to my knees when I went to the doctor. occasionally do the ankle shave.....if you are a woman you definitely know what i am talking about. The only person I ever shaved my legs FOR was my husband He overlooked all my other physical faults so I am sure he probably wouldn[t have cared about my hairy legs.....He just loved me, hairy legs and all! Damn I miss him.

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  49. Nothing wrong with setting your own style. I just don't like people saying that time/effort spent in grooming is unnatural. Most primates groom. For many mammals, grooming is not just for hygiene but a SOCIAL practice. Some hunter gatherer groups of antiquity and of today spend an unusual amount of time grooming(some even do downright ridiculous things in the name of "beauty.") Hair combs, jewelery, tattoos, and piercings were made in the stone age! I don't think they were being unnatural or slave to magazine covers they've never seen. Getting all gussied up is instinctual and predates all modern culture. Might be a stupid instinct, lol, but definitely not UNnatural.

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  50. Great information. I am using body shaver from many year.

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    1. Great if that's what you like,but it's great to see a woman who is happy with her natural body hair. I think Chy's hairy legs are a beautiful sight to behold and applaud her bravery in being a strong individual to go against convention. Wish there were more like her!

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  51. I loved all of these posts. A lot of these things we have, but I got some really great ideas.

    Personal shaver for women

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  52. women with natural unshaved legs are the hottest. why do some women destroy their beautiful legs with ugly tattoos

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  53. I've always wondered why women shave their legs and men don't. I used to have quite a complex over my legs as a teenager since I was too shy to ask my mother how to shave and I thought my knees particularily hairy (god knows why since the hair was fine, thin and blond)... My schools wore uniforms and since I didn't shave I was constantly pulling my knee socks up. A girl made a nasty comment about my hairy knees and I felt really sad. I've always been really annoyed whenever the saving topic comes up and moreso when it does not. It is an accepted norm that women shave, no-one questions it, so when people talk about accepting women for who they are and I say even hairy ones, they go quiet or laugh. I shave rarely and cover myself up. The only time I shave is if my legs are on display. I hate shaving and the prickly painful feeling I get. It's quite sad how other people's reactions continue to influence us.

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  54. I enjoyed your blog a lot. Thank you for posting such wonderful insight. Hope to come here again and again.
    Thank You.


    Best hair removal products

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  55. Hi,
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  56. DWARVES DO EXIST!!!! :OOOOOO

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  57. I think people are beautiful regardless of if they choose to go natural or shaved. X3 I personally stopped shaving after I realised that I did it because I had an interpretation of beauty and what's proper from society and family. I'm happy and beautiful just the way I am, whether I decide to shave or not. As long as I'm doing it for myself.

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  58. What I don't get is why people consider something that is completely normal to grow on a human to be seen as 'disgusting', like I just don't get it.....but it's not gross when it's on a dude? Like what kind of sense does that even make!? xD;

    Personally I've only shaved my legs 2-4 times in my life, and Idk I hated them being shaved, I know people like the feel of their legs that way but it feels gross to me... xD
    I'm just lucky I have blonde hairs because if I didn't I know my mom would've forced me into shaving them. xD

    As for chin hair I can't stand the chin hair cuz' it itches like crazy when it gets near 1/4 an inch? (I'm not fond of the hair, but I can only be bothered to shave it if I have to go out in public or it gets itchy. Most people mistake it as a bruise or scab on my face if I forgot about it though ahahah.)

    Personally I wish I could shave my head though, just once in my life, but I'm afraid of the taboo that goes with that as a female, if I wasn't living with others I'd probably go through with it though.

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  59. How is it right to alter my own body just to please others?

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